diy :: thrift store frames

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tdiy thrift store frames

you've probably gathered by now that i've got a thing for 1) old frames, 2) white paint & 3) diy projects.  whelp- this one combines all three!  i've got old frames all over my house, and i'm estimating that i didn't spend more than $15 on all of them put together.  it's amazing what you'll find if you just do a little thrifting!

diy thrift store frames

i used valspar spray paint (found at most hardware stores) to turn these ol' frames into some of my favorite pieces around the house.

here's the how to:

1) give your frames a good cleaning (i used simple green and a dry cloth), and let dry.

2) most frames will benefit greatly if you use a primer like this one (half way down, #65054), which helps the top coat stick better, cover better and go on smoothly.

3) after the primer has dried, spray paint with a high gloss white paint (i used valspar gloss in white).  let dry completely (only takes a few hours!) and your ready to start displaying them.


  • I love painting thrift store frames too! I have a pile over here waiting to get painted as I redo different rooms in the house. You can’t beat the price!

  • Beautiful displays. I have a bunch of frames as well that have been on my to do list for a while. I love the idea of painting them all the same color. Adding it to my project list!

  • Frames on my wall, all collaged together in blissful harmony, has been on my back burner for so long, but each time I see lovely inspirations like this… I think it inches closer to the front! :)

    ~ Kristen

  • So lovely. The set placed on the shelf above the green dishes is just gorgeous, as are the dishes ;)

  • such a great idea ! Hope your feeling better Bonnie!

  • This is such a cute idea. I’ve seen these at antique stores, some were so pretty and I just passed them up… not knowing what I could do with ’em!

  • We’re moving soon, to a new apartment, with white walls and ivory carpet, and I’m SO EXCITED because white background is a blank canvas that *needs* to be painted upon. Not literally, of course – the owners would have a cow, but I plan on using frames in this same way! I’m also going to be collecting thrift store art – the kitschier the better – and arranging them on the living room wall over the couch in a haphazard grid, around my boyfriend’s mother’s amazing Bob Dylan b/w painted portrait silhouette and my Dad’s uber 70’s still-life painting… sure to inspire! :) If anyone sees any affordable, funky pre- or un-framed wall art out there, let me know! :)

  • Thanks for the tips Bonnie! The photos of the ones you’ve done are lovely. I’ve been thinking about experimenting with old frames and this is a good reminder. Just may be this weekend’s project.

  • Great tips. I have actually been looking for ornate frames to paint white to display some of my fabrics. Unfortunately, in Australia, it’s not as easy to find as many cool finds in thrift storesas it is in North America :( I will keep looking though!

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